Wednesday 22 May 2019

Kilmuckridge Song Tours hits all the right notes

Nan, Eppie and Nellie Fortune with their cousin, Caoimhe Fortune
Nan, Eppie and Nellie Fortune with their cousin, Caoimhe Fortune
Participants of the Kilmuckridge Song Tours

Sara Gahan

Music enthusiasts gathered in the sunshine on Sunday to catch the last 'Kilmuckridge Song Tours' facilitated by traditional musicians Aileen Lambert and John Furlong in conjunction with Kilmuckridge Tidy Towns.

The excursion is based on local traditional songs about people, historical places, sea tragedies, local characters and events. It is an innovative way to engage with traditional heritage by visiting many sites in Kilmuckridge and surrounding district that are connected to the songs.

Tidy Towns were delighted to have the opportunity to engage with Aileen in devising and coordinating the Song Tours. The project was supported by the Heritage Council as part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

Mary O'Brien from Kilmuckridge kicked off the second and last tour with her own composition 'The Mayor of Kilmuckridge', an account of a local fundraiser from the eighties.

The next stop was Tinnaberna beach that provided the setting for three songs of the sea. John sang 'The Tinnaberna Fisherman' and 'The Pomona', while Meave Townsend performed 'The Vivandeer'.

'Mary followed with "Haughey" about Charlie Haughey and his home in nearby Ballyduboy,' added Aileen.

Participants travelled to Kilincooley Graveyard where John sang 'The Great John Mangan', a world champion weight thrower from Ballynahask who passed away in 1916 at the age of 44. He was then buried in Kilincooley.

They went to the graveyard at the Church of Ireland where Aileen sang 'Paddy Big John', a piece about Paddy Dempsey who was a member of The Ton Team, the world famous Tug o' War team from the late 1800s.

To conclude the tour, John performed his own piece titled 'Ballinlow Lane', a song about the local lane which was improved some years back.

The songs that featured in the tour come from the published book called 'Songs of Kilmuckridge'. It was compiled by many local people and traditional singers last year. The book is still available from Aileen, call 087 755 2593.

Gorey Guardian